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Undersold selling

By Ian Nance - posted Wednesday, 18 January 2017


I could not believe the whingeing I saw reported in the recent weekend press about what has to be one of the most refreshing, beautifully scripted, delightfully-acted advertisements ever.

It was for an equally adventurous organisation, Meat & Livestock Australia.

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The tale is about a group of aboriginal inhabitants gathering for a beach barbie in 'present' times, and readying for some kind of celebration.

As they set up and comment on the beauty of the beach and its freedom from crowds, a shot of an approaching square rigger causes a party organiser to warn jokingly "Oh – here we go", then they all react to the arrival of hundreds of explorers from various ships, both sail and later on, steam.

These disgorge arrivals from France, Great Britain, shiploads of beer swillers, the ice-gatherers for the drinks from the Antarctic expedition, a junk full of Chinese, shiploads of Italians, Greeks, and Serbians, African cricket players, and what are identified as 'boat people' cheerfully represented by cooking expert Poh Ling Yeow who asks…"Aren't we all boat people?

Then they go about setting up their national foods performing dances, and enjoying themselves and their beach party thoroughly.

It celebrates light-heartedly parts of Australia's multi- culture with very individualistic cameo lines delivered by Aussies such as Sam Kekovich, Olympian Cathy Freeman, former Rugby star Wendell Sailor,cricket legend Adam Gilchrist and comedian Rhys Nicholson, in short, a classic group of role models.

It's screen-played as a brief summary on the history of our nation, all in celebration of Australia Day, although that event is never actually mentioned.

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In typical Aussie style they take the piss out of just about everyone and every social custom, yet blend it within a culture of unity and acceptance.

The celebrations continue with dancing, fireworks displays, then the message ends in a delightful example of the power of underselling with a zoom back to a wide downwards aerial shot of the beach, and the one, sole branding of the entire two and a half minute commercial.

This textbook use of the power of filmic story telling creates an extremely strong sales message without even hinting at product, apart from cutaway shots of meat on the barbeque, until it is revealed ever so subtly and memorably at the very ending: 'YOU'LL NEVER LAMB ALONE' with a second line in lower case: 'We Love Our Lamb'.

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About the Author

Ian Nance's media career began in radio drama production and news. He took up TV direction of news/current affairs, thence freelance television and film producing, directing and writing. He operated a program and commercial production company, later moving into advertising and marketing.

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